Sports

It's a man's world: gender imbalance in sports reporting

Sport is a man's world. At least that's the impression I get when I watch any. Reporters are (mostly) men, reporting on (mostly) men, except where beach volleyball and tennis are concerned, and then it's still seemingly just for men to look at. Not surprising then, the Olympics were a breath of fresh air this summer. Everyone cheered when Jess Ennis finally won that gold medal, when Lizzie Armitstead was the first Brit to step onto the victory stage, and when the aquatics centre exploded after Ellie Simmonds made it to the finish line first.

Why do home teams win?

Everyone knows about the home team advantage in sports. For example, in my research in Curve Ball, I noted that 52% of the professional baseball games were won by the home team, and the game-winning percentages by the home team in professional football and basketball were respectively 58 and 66 percent. Athletes also generally perform better at home games compared to games played away from home. But the interesting question is: Why does a home field advantage exist?

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Challenges with the tennis challenge system

The new challenge system for close line calls in tennis has been used on the ATP and WTA tour for grand slam events since the 2006 US Open, and was designed to increase fairness for players by obtaining accurate line calls and enhance spectator interest through video technology. In the current system, players have unlimited opportunity to challenge, but once three incorrect challenges are made in a set, they cannot challenge again until the next set. If the set goes to a tiebreak game, players are given additional opportunities to challenge (usually one extra). If the match is tied at six games all in an advantage set, the counter is reset with both players again having a limit of up to three incorrect challenges in the next 12 games, and this resetting process is repeated after every 12 games.

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